There are many reasons why firms must have an organised plan for growth. The buoyant economy has concentrated accountants’ minds on ensuring that a firm’s own management, growth and profitability are not left unplanned.
Accountants must now, more than ever before, commit to retraining themselves and be prepared to market, sell and deliver a new range of value added services. Partners should accept the importance of providing services that are needed by clients and prospects. Accountants need to be committed to developing a range of new niche services, and to serving clients in key industry sectors.
A firm’s success and future must be the number one priority. Firms must ensure that they look after their best client – their own practice. Some of the reasons why a firm must ensure firm growth include:
- To survive; the first objective of any business is survival. Firms must ensure that the they are not left with problems that threaten their ability to survive and continue in business.
- To develop the ability to serve larger clients, which are usually more profitable, and provide a greater opportunity of fee growth. Believe that clients have a ‘fee flexibility’ that equates to one times the fee they currently pay for their existing annual services.
- To ensure that firms are able to keep up with the effect of inflation.
- To provide resources for the development of new firm services that are required to enable the firm to keep up with the changing and challenging environment of the technology era.
- To be able to serve more clients, thereby broadening a firm’s client base and lessening the dependence on key clients.
- To increase partner income, as well as capital.
- To provide a greater challenge to those partners who are currently under-utilised.
- To replace clients lost by attrition.
- To enable a firm to upgrade their client list. Plan to serve larger clients and provide a wider range of services.
- To provide continuing professional challenges and greater recognition for the members of the firm.
- To enable the partners to direct and control the future as much as possible.
- To enable the partners to maximise the potential from their specialist expertise in tax and commercial advice.
- To keep up with the competition.
- To upgrade technical training and competency; to cope with increasing complexity.
The biggest challenge firms face is one of no growth. Planning to ensure that a firm meets challenges without flinching, and builds on its reputation to develop a highly skilled and professional firm working with clients is what is needed to succeed.